Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Microsoft empire strikes back - part 1

Bill Gates Steve Ballmer Jedi
The thing about Star Wars is that it has pretty much taken over the geek domains, especially It has been 4 months now and I have not had one day so far where I haven't come across a Star Wars reference there. The brand will live on, and as it turns out apparently, so will Microsoft.

Just when the once dominant empire looked beleaguered, it seems to be clawing back. Eric Schmidt of Google may claim that the 'Gang of Four' most influential technology companies consists of Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple; but Microsoft does have a few trump cards.

  • XBOX 360 and Kinect: Nothing else in the market can provide the same controller free experience like the Kinect does. We live in a world where a lot of factors have prevented the implementation of achievable sci-fi technologies. Amidst that, the Kinect really is a revelation.

    In all the years of human evolution, we haven't come across an age until now where our fingers have undergone so much stress by the act of typing. We are not designed for typing; no wonder so many of us end up with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Kinect will be our liberator; it will bring to life the gesture based computing that the movie Minority Report popularized.

    The march to that day has already begun. Microsoft is soon releasing a software development kit that will enable researchers and enthusiasts easy access to the capabilities offered by the Microsoft Kinect device connected to computers running Windows 7. The possibilities from that are pretty much endless. In fact, the Kinect SDK has already been used for things like virtual fitting rooms in Moscow, armchair controls and for even bringing Google's Gmail Motion April Fool joke come to life.

    Now you weren't ready for that were you? And at the same time, its rivals are quite literally taking a beating. The PSN hack has dealt a serious blow to Sony and Nintendo admits that Wii sales have been dropping. Things are looking on the up and up then...

  • Windows Phone 7: Ok, so iPhone and Android devices rule the roost here but that said, the WP7 operating system isn't bad at all. In fact, Engadget wrote that -

    '...the company has created an incredibly promising base set of features to build off of. With terrific Zune and Xbox Live integration, a fast and smart method of getting around the OS, great Office and email experiences, and a genuinely beautiful and useful user interface, Microsoft has definitely laid the foundation for the next several years of its mobile play.'

    Their partnership with Nokia also gives them some serious hardware firepower to play with, something Nokia never really did well. With the iPhone facing privacy issues and a staggering 99% of Android phones found to be insecure, the empire can truly strike back.
Thanks for reading part 1. I am sure you may have lots of things to argue or discuss about and I would be really happy to hear them.

Update: This morning I found that Forza 4 will use Kinect to allow drivers to look into corners while racing. This is something I always wanted to do and I can't wait for this!